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Tom Watson - tamer of the Golden Bear

A world class talent and hall of famer

Posted Mar 22, 2011 by Legends

Tom Watson

Huckleberry Dillinger to some, deadly golfing assassin to most, legend to all. With 39 PGA Tour wins and eight majors, Tom Watson is one of the greatest of all-time to have ever played the game.
From 1975 to 1983, Watson was simply sensational. He won all of his eight majors in this time starting and finishing with the Open – an event he won on five occasions in total. He managed to sandwich in two Masters in 1977 and 1981 and a US Open in 1982. His successes in Britain came in 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983.
These achievements have seen him inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, they saw him top the PGA Tour money list five times with the Vardon Trophy three times and be named Player of the Year six times.
Watson was simply the unplayable at times during that era and he took no prisoners with how he got there. He is quoted as saying: “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” And: “I learned how to win by losing and not liking it.”
In fact it was his obsessiven nature and his desire to eradicate all weaknesses that made him so successful. Lanny Wadkins, speaking of Watson, once said: “Tom would never tolerate a weakness. He’d go to the practice tee and beat at it until the darn thing went away.”
And it was this attitude that separated him from most of his competitors. Between the peaks of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, Watson was so far ahead of the rest it’s unreal. And he stood up to the challenge of the Golden Bear on several occasions and is one of the few golfers who could take Nicklaus on and regularly come out on top.
Two of their battles will go down as some of the greatest that golf has ever seen. In 1977 at the Open, Nicklaus shot 66, 66 over the final two rounds, only for Watson to shoot 66, 65 to win by one. Watson then won another major at the expense of the greatest ever in 1982 when he chipped in on the 17th at Pebble Beach. In fact, of Watson’s eight majors, Nicklaus was runner-up in four.
He was an amazing golfer and one fans worldwide loved to watch when in full swing. There will definitely never be another Huckleberry Dillinger in world golf again!

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